Monday, 30 November 2009

Butter lady

Good, Buttery Karma.
A few weeks ago I bought this butterdish for Hermione for her 30th; i completely fell in love with it, and just knew she would too. On and on i raved about this neat little lady who naughtily secrets guilty delights under her porcelain skirt. i couldn't believe it when Hannah, who was chief witness at my love-at-first-sight moment with this china doll, in turn bought her for me for my birthday. In yellow. LOVE HER.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Joy for Jump

Am totally loving Dan's new blog... Joy for Jump, not least of all because i am made to jump for the camera at everything I go to with him and Eddie (which is lots)... So, here are Eddie and I, clad in white as per costume instructions (me in a 'illegal' skirt) for Secret Cinema's East London screening of Alien, jumping if not for joy, then certainly for the fricking hell of it.

Kienholtz: The Hoerengracht

Super sleazy it is, wandering through this recreation of Amsterdam's Red Light District at The National Gallery... especially as i was completely on my own and so totally felt like a pervy voyeur (a role i relish naturellement, but none the less a bit weird in such a grand location). Prostitutes stare blankly out from drab cardboard-box-sized, window-fronted rooms, red light soaking them like a bloody crime scene, and looking like about as up for it as a pavement, their faces framed by glass cases - involuntarily making a literal exhibition of themselves. It's a funny piece, not least because of its most unlikely setting, but also because of its discourse on prostitution... which is a confusing one... it's neither a repellent nor exciting presentation of sex for sale, but rather a depressing and sad depiction of a 'profession' that's as old as the hills. an exhibition that's definitely worth seeing though.
Kienholtz: The Hoerengracht, on at The National Gallery until Feb 21.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Lucky Voice (again)

Here are me and Hermione, having been styled by the fabulous Bella, singing karaoke and generally having too much fun for a school night at Lucky Voice while Amy took photos for them, including this one, which i love. Posing, us? Damn Straight. And loving it.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Pains of Youth

All i really have to say about this play by Ferdinand Bruckner is that i had absolutely no idea what was going on. AT ALL. and to add insult to injury, when i (desperately trying to get some clarity) bought a programme during the interval it was so unhelpful that i almost thought i had been sold a programme for the wrong play. what i wanted was some kind of guidance for what the hell was happening, what i got was theoretical waffling. strangely though, and i have NO IDEA why, i rather enjoyed myself. theatrical sado-masochism? possibly.

It's about about six medical students in 1920s Vienna, all living under one roof and playing a never ending game of musical beds and "lets emotionally manipulate/abuse each other" while speaking in unrelentingly desperate, brittle tones about the pure agony of youth. there is no emotional respite whatsoever. change of pace? certainly NOT. then throw in a bit of Freud, Mata Hari, cacophonous music, fancy corsetry and hosiery and scene changes that are straight out of a CSI crime scene. its almost impossible to make sense of anything. I love Katie Mitchell, who directed it, and ...Some Trace of Her which she also put on at the National was one of my favourite productions of last year, but i was completely baffled by this play. o joy.

Pains of Youth? Pain in the neck more like.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey

i was supposed to be going to a talk (an 'in conversation' type affair) on friday at the Siobhan Davies Dance studio about choreography, between Lavinia Greenlaw and the amazing Cornelia Parker. Sadly no one told me from the studio that neither speaker could in fact come, so i trekked to Elephant and Castle after work only to be stuck in a dance studio for 1hr 50 mins with two women who were never properly introduced, and so who i never knew the names of until i got home and googled them. quite frankly 1hr50 mins is a tough gig even if you know and love the speakers. by the time i left on friday i was about to gauge out my eyes. Still, the good thing that came out of it was that one of the speakers was Heather Ackroyd (the other was physicist-cum-murder novelist Leslie Forbes), who together with her partner (in every sense) Dan Harvey, makes art from growing things; pieces which explore time, progress and change... The beautiful image (above - it's huge by the way) is made from grass covered canvas, the artists having played with photosynthesis to get the shading. i love it. The duo have a piece in the upcoming RA show eARTh (opening at the beginning of December) which fascinated me months ago when i went to the press conference for the exhibition... it's a polar bear bone that has been carbonised and transformed into a diamond. the exhibition is about art in a changing climate and invites artists (including Sophie Calle and Cornelia Parker) to explore topics like climate change within their their work. definitely looking forward to it more than i was...

Take Care of Yourself

I don't think i have LOVED and been so moved by an exhibition (not recently anyway) as by Take Care of Yourself, which Sophie Calle first showed at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and which is now on display at The Whitechapel. 
Unceremoniously dumped by a pompous and egomaniacal wanker in a letter which revels in reverse psychology and stealth blame shifting, Sophie Calle gave said letter to over 100 women who each interpreted it in their own way... undermining its literary pretentiousness by translating it into text speak; interpreting it as if it were a legal document; deciphering the psychobabble; turning it into a monologue or short story... the responses are heartfelt, withering, nonchalant, analytical, helpful, discerning and even disgusted (with both Calle and her ex-lover). As someone who has probably wasted most of my life reading between the lines of emails, texts, voicemails and, yes, even letters from completely unfathomable males i found this exhibition at once wonderfully funny, reassuring, upsetting, complex and thought provoking. As a revenge piece it was one thing, as a exploration of the female psyche another - of the male another still. 
it left me thoroughly emotionally spent, so i'm not sure that i got the most out of the rest of the exhibition (three more rooms are upstairs), but i cannot recommend this part of the exhibition more highly and am currently saving (it's like 60 quid or something heinous) for the exhibition's accompanying book. It's pink and shiny and has a great pair of boobs decorating the jacket... excellent. 

The Fahrenheit Twins

Two adults romping around a bleached, hirsute stage in similarly white and furry snow suits; playing not just the drama's eponymous Fahrenheit Twins, but also their parents, dogs, snow foxes and peripheral characters: FUCKING NIGHTMARE? no, actually, a rather brilliant (not to mention quite frighteningly energetic) adaptation by Told by an Idiot of Michel Faber's short story, The Fahrenheit Twins (which i seem incapable of spelling - can't get a handle on that extra 'h').  completely bonkers, needless to say, but lots of fun.